A root canal (or endodontic treatment) is a dental procedure to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The treatment involves removing the damaged area of the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it, and finally filling it. The common causes affecting the pulp (nerve) are a crack in the tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth, or physical trauma.
Despite what you may have heard or read online, the goal of a root canal isn’t to cause you immense pain. Rather, the goal of the procedure is to save a tooth that is severely infected.
Modern techniques and technology have helped root canals evolve into relatively comfortable treatments that often require no more than one or two trips to the dentist.
Most often, a tooth that has had a root canal is covered with a crown (cap) for added strength and durability. Teeth with root canals dry out similarly to dead standing trees in the sense that they become brittle over time, making them more prone to cracking or fracture. In most cases, crowns are placed on teeth after root canals to prevent further cracking, like rings on a barrel. The crown will hold the tooth together and provide longevity for the patient.
After having a root canal you can improve the success rate by practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing daily. You should also schedule regular cleanings and examinations every 6 months to avoid future problems.
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